The Coast Guard rescued three men from Lake Erie early Wednesday after their fishing boat began taking on water and capsized just north of Kelley’s Island.
The names of the men are not being released by the Coast Guard.
Just before 7:30 a.m., the watchstander at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, was notified by Ottawa County Dispatch that three men were in the water in Lake Erie after their boat took several waves over the bow, first swamping and then capsizing their boat.
A conference call was set up to maintain communication between the watchstander, the dispatcher, and the man in the water who had called 911 using his cell phone.
A boat crew from Station Marblehead responded aboard a 45-foot response boat, arrived on-scene, brought all three men safely aboard, then transported the men to Kelley’s Island State Park.
The men were wearing their life jackets and did not report any injuries.
Commercial salvage has been contacted and there have been no reports of pollution related with the incident.
This Coast Guard reminds boaters that life jackets can help save your life if you are properly wearing them. They are also extremely difficult to put on once you have already entered the water.
It is also important to always have a reliable means to call for help should you need to. Cell phones are a good way to call for help in an emergency; however, most phones are not designed to work in the marine environment and service can become unreliable the farther you get away from the shore. The Coast Guard recommends that boaters use a VHF-FM marine radio. They are designed to work in the marine environment, and the Coast Guard is constantly monitoring the radio for distress calls.
Another great way to signal the Coast Guard for help is to use a personal locator beacon. PLBs are small devices that can be attached to your clothes or life jacket that, once activated, send a signal to satellites and homing beacons aboard Coast Guard rescue craft that can pinpoint your location within 3 feet. They essentially take the ‘search’ out of search-and-rescue.